Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Over 6 000 Zanu-PF youths in Chegutu have delivered 300 kilogrammes of gold to Fidelity Printers and Refiners since 2014 worth an estimated $10 million.
The artisanal miners formed the Danangwe District Youths Mining Cooperative (DDYMC) in 2012 following calls by President Mugabe for youths to be economically empowered through exploitation of the country’s mineral resources.
Speaking during a tour of the mine last week, DDYMC chairman Mr Stewart Lackford, said on average, they produced at least 10 kilogrammes per month. “DDYMC is made up of 5 500 men and 543 women, who are all artisanal miners. We have since established three mines and all these people work as syndicates at various shafts,” he said.
“We have over 100 shafts and they work at different shifts. We use rudimentary methods to mine. If the water table is low we can mine at least 15 kilogrammes per month.
“Since 2014, we have delivered 301 kilogrammes of gold to Fidelity Printers and Refiners.” Mr Lackford said the youth had sunk 140 metres of the commercial shaft and the target was to reach 200 metres, the standard depth of a commercial mine shaft.
“Our main objective in the long run is to create an additional 1 000 jobs for the people of Chegutu,” he said. “We are in line with Zim-Asset objectives, which include job creation, beneficiation and value addition.
“The equipment of setting up a gold mill is now here and we are now able to process our ore at the same time creating more jobs.” Zanu-PF Secretary for Youth Affairs Cde Kudzanayi Chipanga commended the cooperative’s initiative, saying the party was going to replicate the model across the country.
“We are setting up such initiatives around the country not only in mining, but in all sectors of the economy,” he said. Early this year the cooperative went into partnership with a local engineering company to mechanise their operations.
The equipment will see the establishment of a gold mill to ensure that the cooperative recovers nearly 100 percent of the gold from the ore against the current 40 percent.
Part of the equipment includes concentrators, bow mills, generators, hammer and jaw crushers. Giant mine was initially owned by ACR, who halted their mining operations on the mining claims a few years after independence.
Following President Mugabe’s call on empowerment, Chegutu Zanu-PF youth wing formed DDYMC, which is now directly supporting 6 000 people.
DDYMC’s major impediment in luring investors is that ACR is refusing to give the cooperative ownership of the mine.